Shrinking your wiki

We’ve just finished our Interim Sprint. Breaking all laws of scrum absolutely no functionality was produced but we all feel a whole lot better. Here’s what we achieved:

  • Removed over 1000 stored Procedures, 300 asp pages, 21 VB Com components, 36 Database Tables and whole database from our product.
  • Created a automated QA deploy
  • Created a development database that we can run tests on
  • Create a production installer that installs in exactly the same way as we deploy to our own machines and QA.
  • Deploys now happen one way and one way only whether it’s to a Dev machine a QA machine or a customer site.
  • Reduced the size of our wiki!

Its all great but reducing the size of the wiki deserves a bit more thought. I’m not sure about everyone else but our wiki is full of procedures for setting up this, deploying that or changing t’other. This is generally seen as a positive thing as it standardises work and speeds up repetitive tasks. The problem is procedures that cover every eventuality get really lengthy leaving lots of opportunities for error. Procedures that don’t cover every eventuality can cause confusion. If a task can be put in a procedure it can be automated. It takes a bit more work (possibly more work than you will ever do following the procedure) but it isn’t prone to human error. Developers are wasting their talent following procedures when they could be coming up with creative solutions.

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